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Allegations of elderly abuse surface at Zion care facility

Protests have been taking place at a local nursing home facility demanding better care for the residents there. Zion police are investigating the case of an 87-year-old female who ended up in a Waukegan medical center with a black eye and broken jaw. The nursing home staff claims the causes of the injuries were the result of an abscessed tooth. The patient's daughter doesn't buy it. She is filing a report with the Illinois Department of Public Health claiming neglect on the part of the nursing home.

The elderly woman's daughter works for the Lake County Sheriff's Office and is using her mother's case not for financial gain, but to raise public awareness of vulnerable senior residents and encourage family members to monitor more closely the type of treatment their older relatives might be receiving at facilities across the state of Illinois.

The 87-year-old mother has an advanced case of Alzheimer's disease that required extensive care and she had to be placed in the local home a few months ago. Since then she has been hospitalized and required medical treatment several times. The daughter states the home claimed her mother had slipped and sustained a head injury, although no bruises were evident.

When she was informed her mother had an abscess, she rushed to her side but did not believe the bruises and other symptoms could be the result of a tooth infection. This was later confirmed by physicians, who suspected the injuries were the result of another fall.

The incident has become a springboard for protests by several communities in the area and vigils have been held. Their hope is to send an adamant message to the public that neglect of the elderly in nursing homes will not be tolerated.

Everyone has a parent who gets old. At some point, we are unable to provide proper care for them and we trust institutions like this one to make sure our elderly family members are safe and receiving quality care. If you suspect that your elder loved ones are victims of nursing home abuse, it would be wise to seek help to protect their rights.

Source:  newsun.suntimes.com, "Zion police investigate complaint against nursing care facility" Jim Newton, Aug. 20, 2013

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